The latest "MLB cheating scandal" cast a murky cloud over America's Pastime when it was brought forth allegations that the Houston Astros used technology to illegally steal signs during the team's 2017 championship season.
The team allegedly would use centerfield video cameras to steal signs from opponents and relay an audio signal (banging on the cans) to batters to give them a heads up which pitch would be coming.
Current A's pitcher Mike Fiers, who spent three seasons as a member of the Astros, was the first to go on record and talk about the cheating ways. Since then, he's received quite a bit of backlash from fans ... and even sports analysts.
But he has a lot of support when you sift through the awful Twitter mentions (and fake niece accounts -- seriously, what?!) in his friend and former college teammate J.D. Martinez.
“Sucks for him. I’ve talked to him about it,” Martinez said in an interview with MassLive.com. “I understand his side of it. I understand his side of it, being in that division and going against those guys. It’s one of those things where it’s an uncomfortable position for him. I understand why he did what he did.”
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter was also asked if it were possible Fiers would fall victim to any type of retaliation on the field during this upcoming season -- or any season after that.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Martinez said. “I wish him the best with everything. I talked about it with him. He obviously felt like he needed to and I understand it.”
We don't know what will materialize once actual baseball games are played, but it appears there is more heat on Major League Baseball than Fiers.
ESPN baseball analyst and Mets advisor Jessica Mendoza recently gave her thoughts publicly on what Fiers had done saying it "didn't sit well" with her on the fact that he decided to "go public."
What she said didn't sit well with many. Myself included.
This isn't an article to discuss what she said or the fact she holds both of these titles is a conflict of interest. This article will, however, expound she was false in her statements.
It's important to showcase that Fiers has the support from not only his friends/fellow baseball players but those who spend money and time dedicated to the sport.
Since Fiers bravely went public in that interview with The Athletic, baseball saw a few historic penalties.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunhow were both fired. The team forfeited its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and '21 MLB drafts and were fined $5 million. This is the highest allowable fine under the Major League Constitution.
The Red Sox and manager Alex Cora "mutually parted ways" after the scandal. Cora served as the Astros' bench coach the year the team won the World Series.
As Martinez says, we don't know what will happen in the upcoming months as more light is shed on these situations, but many are saying Fiers should be commended for what he did.
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He could have been anonymous. He could have subtweeted it in a cryptic way. He could have waited years from now to write a novel about it.
Fiers stamped his name on it, and that brought more individuals forward to do the same. That took courage.